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Why Younger Employees Want to Be Paid in Crypto


By Lisa Gibbons for The Litecoin Foundation

Companies need something more than a paycheck to hold onto their most productive employees today. Competition for talent is rife as the younger generation realize the benefits of remote working and become sought-after digital nomads. As the tech giants continue to absorb the engineering and development talent, how can Web3 firms compete?

Companies and organizations can focus on the values the Gen Z workforce in order to demonstrate a real connection with their commitment to societal change. The modern workforce is passionate about climate change, wealth inequality and the rising cost of living. They appreciate employers and brands that invest in resources to tackle these issues and support Gen Z’s commitment to societal change.

Cryptocurrency is a key differentiator when it comes to what Web3 organizations can offer to potential employees. By offering cryptocurrencies as part of a wage package, employers can give employees a reason to remain loyal. It is what is often termed ‘skin in the game’ and is an important consideration when organizations are trying to attract fresh ideas, especially for candidates that may already be familiar with the world of Web3.

A recent report by Deloitte found that 73 percent of merchants are planning to integrate crypto payments within the next three years. The report concluded that “the survey confirms the direction and strength of the trajectory toward broad adoption of digital currency payment solutions across US retail organizations. Respondents understand the value and benefits of such capability and have taken steps toward enablement.”

The adoption of cryptocurrency as payment is mostly influenced by consumer demand for the digital assets. Also, with notable celebrities like Klay Thompson and Aaron Rodgers choosing to accept their paychecks in cryptocurrency, it is natural that others, especially the younger generation would be curious. In addition, mobile payments service providers like Venmo, Paypal and Stripe continue to integrate crypto payment products making it easier for organizations to facilitate crypto payments. The Venmo platform only allows users to buy and sell four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash.

survey by SoFi in March of this year found that there is an increasing interest in having cryptocurrency as part of a workers paycheck with over 36% of workers expressing interest in cryptocurrency and 42% saying that they would like to receive NFTs as a performance reward. Consultancy Group deVere also conducted a survey in 2021 that found cryptocurrencies could become part of salary negotiations for younger people. This trend is an extension of the wider acceptance of cryptocurrency and NFTs in industries such as art, fashion, sports and real estate.

Another great example is the shift in fintechs like GetHedge which offers individual users the opportunity to pay employees in BTC, LTC or ETH, three of the world’s major cryptocurrencies. “We saw a dramatic increase in demand over the past year as more companies recognize crypto as a valued alternative way to incentivize employees to remain loyal.” said David Schwartz, CEO of Hedge “In addition, once payroll departments and services start offering cryptocurrency as an alternative way to receive their pay, bonuses, commission, etc. they realize how easy it is to embed into the companies culture. And they can now through our partnership with GetPayroll.”

Offering hybrid payment models

The ideal scenario offers a bit of both worlds during this transition phase, allowing employees to avail of their usual wage but choose to receive a portion in cryptocurrencies. Some of the top cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum are popular when it comes to payments. Litecoin’s MWeb offers an optional layer of privacy for individuals who do not wish to disclose their pay. This technology was just recently launches and it will be interesting to see how privacy can be further factored into crypto payments as the workforce moves to more hybrid payment models.

In contrast to traditional incentives and offering shares as part of employee retention schemes, offering crypto provides affiliation with a niche community that may not be focused on the profit/loss results of the overall company. Instead, this community is part of a larger expression of values to increase access to community-first capital.

The Great Resignation was triggered during the pandemic as more people began to assess their career choices. Lockdowns around the world gave everyone some welcome thinking time. Flexibility with increased opportunities to work from home provided a brand new way to think about employees’ relationship with the company that they work for. This move to digital assets as incentives and payment solutions follows the trends in the global market.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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